STARKS — Several small towns in Somerset County are still feeling the aftermath of a severe wind and rain storm, including a tornado, that hit the central Maine in mid-July, knocking down trees and telephone poles and causing damage to municipal buildings, homes and roads.

On Wednesday, residents in Starks will be asked during a special town meeting to appropriate more money for road repairs in areas that were damaged by the storm.

“The storm did a lot of damage here on some of our town roads and we’re still dealing with it,” said First Selectman Paul Frederic. “It’s been a very expensive item in the summer roads budget.”

On July 15, a severe wind and rain storm that included reports of wind speeds up to between 80 and 90 miles per hour and a confirmed tornado in the Somerset County town of St. Albans, knocked down trees and power lines, flooded roads and caused property damage throughout Somerset and Franklin counties.

In Starks, the bulk of the storm damage occurred on Mayhew Road, where several culverts need to be replaced because of drainage problems caused by the storm, said Frederic.

Residents are being asked to approve the use of $7,000 that the town has left over from another road project for use on the Mayhew Road, along with $840 from the same account to install a culvert and gravel part of Chicken Street, which was also damaged in the storm.

Frederic said Mayew Road is repaired “to the point that traffic can move through, but not to the point where we’re comfortable with it withstanding large rain storms in the future.”

Only eight tornadoes have been confirmed in Somerset County since 1971, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration climate data center. The low frequency of such storms has made recovery slow and in some cases, more expensive for residents, said St. Albans Town Manager Rhonda Stark.

The tornado spotted in St. Albans at around 6:30 p.m. July 15 was on the ground for about two miles and while town property was not damaged, state roads and private property were, said Stark. The state roads have been repaired, but property owners are still cleaning up, she said.

“It’s cost residents a lot of money,” said Stark. “Most of the damage that was done was to the trees themselves, and when you have 30 or 40 trees fall on your lawn, it costs a lot. I know one family alone that has spent $18,000. We don’t have tornado insurance in Maine, so a lot of people have had to take it out of their own pocket.”

Denise Emery, 42, who lives on Corinna Road in St. Albans, said that while only one tree fell on some power lines outside her house, more than a dozen trees fell in her mother’s yard on the same road. They are still trying to clean up the property.

“We’re doing it little by little,” said Emery. “I’ve been here my entire life and never once seen anything like this. This is a first.”

Residents in nearby Madison also continue to recover from severe flooding in the town police station, where repairs including re-carpeting and replacing part of the wall were finished up last week, said Madison Town Manager Dana Berry.

“There was a considerable amount of damage,” said Berry. “Cleanup was completed in the last week or so. It took a while for us to get everything fixed.”

Berry said he did not have a final estimate of the cost of the repairs, but said that most of them will be paid for through the town’s insurance policy.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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